I always felt unmotivated and unproductive until I adopted these 7 morning habits

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I always felt unmotivated and unproductive until I adopted these 7 morning habits

Ever felt stuck in a rut of low motivation and lack of productivity?

Trust me, I’ve been there.

As I navigated through endless advice from self-help books and motivational speakers, I found a lot of it didn’t stick. But there were a few golden nuggets that transformed my mornings.

These seven habits? They’ve been real game-changers.

They’ve not only kick-started my days but also infused them with a motivation and productivity I never thought possible.

Perhaps they’ll make the same difference for you.

Let’s get into it.

1) Embracing a morning routine

Ever wondered why some people swear by their morning routine? Well, I used to shrug it off until I gave it a shot.

The freedom of a flexible schedule can be great, but without some structure, it can quickly lead to feeling lost and unproductive. And that’s where a morning routine steps in.

After reading about the power of habits in books like Atomic Habits by James Clear, and hearing influential figures like Jordan Peterson stress on the importance of consistent wake-up times, it all started making sense.

A morning routine isn’t just about waking up at dawn or ticking off tasks. It’s about creating a framework for the day that fosters motivation and productivity while warding off aimlessness.

Having a well-defined morning routine sets the tone for the day. It’s not only about what you do, but also when and how consistently you do it.

Embedding a morning routine into my life has been a game-changer. It has given my days direction and has significantly upped my motivation and productivity levels.

It might seem like a small change, but trust me, its impact is anything but small.

2) Incorporating exercise into my morning

Growing up, I was actually quite athletic. But as I got into my late teens, I fell out of the habit. In my twenties, physical activity felt like a chore, not something to look forward to.

But, in my late twenties, I started feeling the toll of a sedentary lifestyle, both physically and mentally; I knew something had to change.

So, I started dabbling in different forms of exercise – from running to weightlifting. And that’s when it hit me – exercise didn’t have to be a chore. It could be fun, refreshing, and even therapeutic.

When I discovered swimming, I was hooked. It’s actually become quite a meditative experience for me.

It’s not just about getting my body moving; it’s also about centering my mind and setting a calm, focused tone for the day.

Making time for exercise every morning, even just 20 minutes of swimming, became a pivotal part of my routine. Not only did it help me feel more energized and focused throughout the day, but it also gave me a sense of accomplishment first thing in the morning.

The discipline of committing to this daily practice, the mental clarity it brought, and the physical benefits all contributed to making me a more motivated and productive person.

Trust me, starting your day with some form of exercise can make a world of difference.

3) Starting the day with gratitude

I’ll be honest; I always thought gratitude was a bit new age for me until I came across some research on it.

The benefits are almost endless. Studies have shown that it can significantly improve your mood, reduce stress, and even improve physical health.

In the early stages of feeling unmotivated and unproductive, I stumbled upon this. Intrigued, bit still skeptical, I decided to implement a simple gratitude practice into my morning routine.

Each morning, before the day’s hustle-bustle began, I started taking a moment to write down three things I was grateful for. These were often simple things like a good night’s sleep, a warm cup of coffee, or bigger life events.

This small act of acknowledging the good in my life helped me start each day with a positive mindset.

Over time, this practice began to change how I viewed my day ahead. Instead of feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated, I felt ready to take on whatever came my way with positivity and resilience.

And so I’ve stuck with it. Well, “stuck with it” might be a bit negative; I actually look forward to it these days.

It gives me a sense of perspective and made me realize how many things – big and small – I have to be thankful for.

Starting your day with gratitude might seem insignificant, but its impact on your overall mood and motivation can be profound.

4) Making a habit of morning journaling

We live in a world filled with distractions, making it easy to lose track of our thoughts and ideas.

Sounds familiar?

If so, journaling might be for you, too.

At first, I dismissed it as something too introspective for my taste. But after giving it a try, it’s become an essential part of my morning routine.

Appearing in the practices of great minds like the Stoics and Da Vinci, journaling has been used as a tool for self-reflection for centuries.

Now, each morning, I take some time to sit down with my journal. It’s not just about listing the day’s tasks or jotting down random thoughts. It’s a deep dive into introspection, an examination of my feelings, ideas, and reactions to life’s events.

Through this practice, I’ve gained valuable insights into my own behaviors and recognized patterns that were affecting my productivity and motivation.

More than just a reflective tool, journaling has become a guide for my daily decisions and long-term goals. It helps me align my actions with my core values and aspirations.

Plus, it offers a moment of calm and solitude amidst the morning rush, a chance to connect with myself before facing the world.

This act of expressing my thoughts on paper has been transformative. It’s sparked personal growth and brought a deeper sense of fulfillment to my mornings.

So why not give it a shot? You might be surprised at what you discover about yourself.

5) Nourishing my body with a healthy breakfast

Ever heard the saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”?

While it might sound cliché, there’s a lot of truth to it. As someone who used to rush out the door without a proper meal, I can tell you first-hand about the difference a healthy breakfast makes.

In my quest for increased productivity and motivation, I began to pay more attention to the fuel I was giving my body. I swapped out quick, sugary breakfasts for more balanced, nutritious options.

Now, my mornings are incomplete without a hearty breakfast. Whether it’s a smoothie packed with fruits and protein or a bowl of oats topped with nuts and seeds, starting the day with nutrient-rich food has made a huge difference.

Eating a healthy breakfast not only keeps me satiated and focused throughout the morning but also sets a positive tone for the rest of the day’s meals.

Plus, taking the time to prepare and enjoy my breakfast has become an act of self-care that I look forward to each morning.

If you’re used to skipping breakfast or grabbing a quick, less-than-nourishing bite, try switching it up. You might just find it’s the key to kick-starting your day on a high note.

6) Setting daily intentions

Picture this: You wake up each morning, not just with a to-do list, but with a clear intention for the day ahead.

Sounds good, right?

It is. 

Setting daily intentions became a part of my morning routine when I realized that being productive wasn’t just about ticking off tasks. It was about moving purposefully in the direction of my goals.

Now, after my morning workout and breakfast, I take a few quiet moments to set my intention for the day. It could be anything from staying focused during work hours, practicing patience, or prioritizing self-care.

Having a clear intention has helped me navigate my day with more purpose and clarity. It’s like having a compass that guides my actions and decisions, ensuring that they align with what I truly want to achieve.

This practice not only boosts my productivity but also enhances my sense of fulfillment as I end each day having made meaningful progress toward my goals.

If you feel like your days lack direction or purpose, try setting an intention each morning. It’s a simple habit that can make a significant difference.

7) Avoiding digital distractions

In our digital age, it’s easy to start the day by reaching for our phones and getting lost in a sea of emails, social media notifications, and news updates. 

This is particularly true if you work remotely, as I mostly do. The line between work and leisure can easily disappear. 

But is that the best way to begin our day?

I found out the hard way that it’s not. Reaching for my phone first thing in the morning would set my day up to be reactive; I’d use the precious hours of the morning to respond to emails and get stuck in minor details. What should I have been doing?

Setting my day up for success with the habits I just mentioned and when I did start working, I should have been working on my most important tasks; for me, that’s writing. 

Instead of diving straight into the digital world, I now make a conscious effort to keep my mornings screen-free. The first hour after waking up is dedicated to my morning routine, free from any digital distractions.

This practice has made my mornings more peaceful and focused. It allows me to start the day on my own terms, rather than being pulled into the demands of the online world.

Keeping digital distractions at bay in the morning has not only made me more mindful but also significantly boosted my productivity. It sets a precedent for the rest of the day, encouraging more intentional use of technology.

If you’re used to reaching for your phone first thing in the morning, try swapping it for a distraction-free morning instead. It could be just what you need to start your day on a more focused and productive note.

In a nutshell, transforming your mornings can transform your entire day. Start small, pick a habit or two to integrate into your routine, and watch as your motivation and productivity soar. Your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day – make it count!